What I Did This Summer

Well, I think summer 2012 has now officially ended - and on a high note with the "Indian Summer" of our BBQ weekend, the Paralympics finale, and Andy Murray's smashing end of the 76 year drought for British men's tennis.  UK 2012 has been one of the great summers, certainly of my life, despite a few worrying health glitches I continue to cope with.  I just wanted to quickly sum up my personal highlights, to cast in amber this golden time: well, firstly, my Mum visited for 3 weeks, for my PhD graduation at UEA, which was very significant for me - we hadn't seen each other in five years!  (I haven't been back to Canada since 2007).  The best time I had with her was the day we went to Hampton Court for the flower show.  My Mum loves beauty, and I loved experiencing her enjoyment of the gardens, and her enthusiasm.  Another highlight for me was spending ten days in the South of France with my wife and her Mum - they're wonderful Irish women filled with good humour, passion and energy, and despite the heat wave (40 Celsius for a week), had some great meals and times there.  The third major event of the summer, for me, was my 8th poetry book's launch at Canada House - so good to see friends and colleagues there.  A fourth great event was announcing the Melita Hume Prize winner, and working with Tim Dooley as judge of that.  I should add that spending a week on Hydra with my wife, and seeing my friends there, such as Letty, and Michael, was also splendid, though travelling on the sea over from Athens in Force 6 winds was terrifying.  Finally, the last best moment of the summer was going to see the men's 100 metres final at the Olympics, and witnessing Bolt make history; we also saw Oscar Pistorius run that day, fortunately.  Other memories of the summer - I loved The Last Leg on Channel 4; and The Avengers film.  Read too many Lee Child's. I also enjoyed working with my trainer Chris at The Third Space, and beginning a concerted effort to eat more salad. Finally, - I mean it this time - the Free Verse small poetry press fair was a fun way to intro my new small press to the wider poetry community, and it went very well, thanks to Sara, Lydia and Helen.  I am sort of dreading the autumn, as the summer was so good, and I am now on sabbatical, so, despite some reading tours, I have a lot of writing, researching and editing to do now.  Time to sharpen those pencils and buckle down.


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